Since last night’s final weather alert on the 6 o’clock evening news called for heavy rain today, I made sure to watch the early morning 1st alert weather on all three local channels before beginning my walk. Carl and I completed our sunrise check of the skimmer basket at the pool and much to our joy found the basket filled with a few leaves but no frogs. Huge relief.
The consensus of the television weather forecasters seemed to be the overcast sky would hold off dumping rain until after 8 a.m. so I sneaked out the back kitchen door at 6:45 under the watchful eye of Carl without disturbing the still sleeping Spike and Charly and, most importantly, Pretty. I knew the ever early riser Carl would guard the door until I returned.
Full disclosure this is the twentieth week of my return to early morning walks after a sabbatical of oh, well, let’s round that off to roughly 13 years. For the forty years of my working life in the numbers world, I rose early every morning and grabbed a dog to go walking with me for half an hour in whatever neighborhood I lived in at the time. The names of the dogs changed over their lifetimes, but I am nothing if not focused on routine which, combined with my love of the outdoors, made the walks a great time to clear my head before being chained to a computer at my desk inside a stuffy office. Five days a week unless weather prohibited.
Following my lengthy walking hiatus, I have now increased the schedule to every day – but no dog due to an unfortunate accident involving Charly earlier this year that resulted in an ambulance ride to a nearby hospital ER. Not really her fault but my concentration isn’t what it used to be – why not limit the distractions.
Speaking of distractions, this morning had a doozy. I started out walking down the incline on the street next to our house, walking downhill always got me started on the right foot (or left, wherever the open road beckoned). Each morning I assessed the progress of the construction of three new houses in the process of being constructed where the wild heavily forested undisturbed lots had been for the past four years and for the first ten weeks of my return to the early morning walks.
Suddenly without checking with me first, three white wooden For Sale signs had been evenly spaced in the ground of the natural area. Who would be interested in buying these out of the way lots on a sleepy street in Lexington County, I thought when I had walked past them in the spring. Within two weeks, SOLD covered all three.
For two months the sounds of huge pine trees falling, shaking the earth as they fell, the whirring of saws cutting them into smaller pieces, the sounds of bulldozers roaring through the undergrowth knocking down everything in sight, and the amazing sight of a massive rock being picked up by a large piece of equipment I now know is an excavator. I watched one Friday afternoon as the excavator picked up the rock, raised it in the air and then dropped it with such force my dogs freaked from the aftershock in our back yard. Pick up, raise, drop. Repeat.
The three lots are now completely razed, brightly colored dirt smoothed on their surface, and this week marked the start of a new phase as the cement blocks used in the foundation were delivered at 8 a.m. Saturday which allowed the new crew of Five Guys to work on the foundations of the first two homes.
Against this backdrop of my worry during my walks over all the natural life whose homes had been destroyed, I passed the third lot under construction this a.m. and made the curve that indicated the first tough climb for me. The sky was overcast as the first alert weathermen promised, no rain so far, but no sunlight either.
I was making my usual excuses for walking slowly up the incline. For example, wasn’t it better to be walking at all really?
Nearing the top of the hill where I usually took my first break, I stopped where I stood. Just ahead of me on the right was a wild boar standing calmly in a driveway with only its square dark back side visible. OMG, I thought. This wild boar has been displaced from the forest down the street where the new homes were under construction. And out of all these houses I walked on the road between since rounding the curve, this wild boar chose an unremarkable driveway for its escape route to somewhere.
My mind raced to the inevitable conclusion that my life was in mortal danger when a woman walked up the driveway from the house and spoke to the wild boar. Come on, Daisy, move your bloomin’ arse. Get back in this house.
Have I mentioned my macular degeneration and or vivid imagination? I thought not. The cute Daisy who I then saw resembled a happy dog of undetermined heritage never looked in my direction.
The weather forecasters can predict rain – but they can’t warn you for crazy.
Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.